We just recently came back from an Eastern Caribbean cruise on Princess' new Royal Princess. I am a Diamond member on Royal Caribbean but wanted to try another cruise line. I was very excited to be traveling on the new Royal Princess but after completing my cruise was a bit disappointed and will probably not sail with Princess again. .
The Royal is a very beautiful ship but as previous reviewers have stated has many design flaws. I was in a Mini Suite on Deck 15 (Marina Deck - M417) midship. I did not think that I would mind not having stairs nearby but I was wrong. There were times that I wanted to take the stairs but had to walk very far either to the front of the ship or the back of the ship for the stairs. The elevators were always crowded & there were times when you had to wait for 2 or 3 that were not full. In addition, right before I left I received an email from Princess stating they had upgraded us to an extended balcony cabin. Much to my dismay when we arrived we saw that the cabin was directly below the Seawalk. I wish that Princess would have warned us about the privacy issue but they did not. We had to be careful that nobody was walking on the Seawalk & looking into our cabin much of the time. I also agree with many that the Princess Theatre layout is not up to par. I felt that I was at a movie theatre & not in a lounge watching a production show. In addition not having a cup holder was very inconvenient.
As far as the crew on board the Royal I was EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED. It was almost impossible to get any of them to smile at you at at times I felt that they did not want to be there. For a new ship & an inaugural season you would think that Princess would have the top notch crew. The only individuals that I would give a thumbs up to were Mario (Waiter) & Jason (Junior Waiter) in the Alegro Dining room. They were VERY ATTENTIVE to our needs & always knew what we needed/wanted before we asked for it. The worse & most unorganized crew members were the photographers. I have never seem so much unorganization & chaos as I did on this cruise.
We only saw 2 production shows & they were both very good (especially "Colors of the World"). The light show in the pool area is nice to watch but they only show 2 times during the week & they are usually late at night (11-12 AM). As far as the pool area this is another design flaw. Yes there are 3 pools on the Royal but one is the Sanctuary which you have to pay to use (and is booked usually by 8AM), the Adults only Retreat Pool (which is usually booked first thing in the AM) also & the main pool (which I feel is 2 small for the 3600 + passengers on board.
In summary, I am not a negative person & try & find good in everybody. My family & I had a good time being together & on vacation but the Royal Princess needs to be looked at & hopefully the Regal Princess will be re-vamped a bit. Also, I hope that the crew issues will be resolved by Princess